And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #188: The year in beefs

By | Published on Friday 20 December 2013

Dappy & His Horse

It’s the week before Christmas and everyone’s in a good mood, so there are no beefs to be had. No, let me stop you there, there are absolutely none. Not even one. So, instead of dissecting a single event from the last seven days this week, we’re going to look back at some of our favourite beefs of 2013. And they’re all top quality prime beefs too, there’s no horse meat here.

January: Bunny Wailer v Snoop Dogg
Hey, remember when Snoop Dogg stopped being Snoop Dogg, like, forever, and instead we were all supposed to call him Snoop Lion? All because he was a Rastafarian and ‘reggae star’ now. Well he did do all that, much to the annoyance of Rastafarians everywhere, particularly the religion’s official representatives, including Bunny Wailer, who said that Snoop had failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments” to them, adding talk of legal action. Meanwhile this month reggae expert Roger Steffens said that it “would be a travesty if Snoop wins” the Best Reggae Album Grammy he’s nominated for. So that went well.

February: Ex-HMV staff v HMV management
We all know now that HMV has been saved and will never ever be forced to close down (never, right?), but back in February things were not so clear. With administrator Deloitte still trying to secure a buyer for the music retailer, it one day decided to cut 190 jobs at the company’s HQ in one go. And in a perfect demonstration of how managers at big companies often don’t understand social media, or why they even should, the person in charge of HMV’s Twitter account (whose job the Marketing Director was apparently not even aware of) live-tweeted the whole thing.

March: Morrissey v Bowie
Until March 2013, everyone thought that the finest example of ‘Rickrolling’ of all time was Rick Astley being voted Best Act Ever at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards. We all also thought that ‘Rockrolling’ was an exhausted meme best left in the past. But then David Bowie refused to allow a picture of himself and Morrissey to appear on the artwork of a re-issue of Moz’s ‘The Last Of The Famous International Playboys’. Rather than fight, the photo was replaced with a photo of the former Smiths frontman and Mr Astley. Oh, we laughed.

April: Busta Rhymes v Cheeseburger Baby
Quick quiz: If you are Busta Rhymes, do you have to queue up to purchase food in fast food restaurants? If you answered no, I’m afraid you have not won a prize. If you answered yes, you’ve also not won a prize, but you were at least correct. Busta got it wrong too when he visited Cheeseburger Baby in Miami back in April. Silly Busta.

May: The Jacksons v AEG Live
Granted, this was a story that stretched out far outside May of this year (and if that annoys you, please skip straight to our other favourite beef of that month), but back then the Jackson family’s lawsuit against AEG Live was just grinding into court-side action. And grinding was the word, when amongst the petty points debated during the first week was the defence’s initial refusal to concede that Michael Jackson was actually dead.

June: Tom Odell’s dad v The NME
Tom Odell was the winner of the 2013 BRITs Critics’ Choice Award. Which means he was the year’s top choice of all UK critics. So what the NME was doing publishing a review saying that his album wasn’t very good, I don’t know. And neither did Tom’s dad, who rang the magazine to complain, which was definitely not embarrassing.

July: Wiley v CockRock
Everything that Wiley does has some intrinsic entertainment value. I bet just seeing him brush his teeth would raise a little chuckle. Oh, I’m imagining it now. It’s quite amusing. Though I am confused as to why Wiley is in my bathroom and using my toothbrush. Anyway, his headline set at this year’s CockRock festival entertained far more than the few thousand people who witnessed it – all fifteen minutes of it – before he walked off, claiming he had been endangered by the crowd. When pressured to either give back his £15,000 fee, or at least donate it to charity, he announced that he was going to “piss this 15k up the wall”.

August: Fans on the rampage
August was a month of pop fans waging war online. First it was (as usual) One Direction fans, who took against the series of covers GQ had designed to go with an interview with the boyband. Rather than just not buying the magazine, they instead started sending death threats to its publishers and one used the word ‘cupcake’ in anger. After that, fighting broke out between Katy Perry and Lady Gaga fans, after it emerged that the former was planning to release a single in the same week as the later – clearly an act of war, and one that no amount of peacekeeping attempts from the artists themselves could stop. Out in the real world, Brandy was shunning her fans. Well, the 40 who turned up to see her in a 90,000 capacity stadium in South Africa, anyway.

September: Bromley Beekeepers Association v Bez
Bez has started keeping bees, and he thinks other people should do so too. He even got involved in a campaign to set up rooftop hives in Manchester. Admirable, no? No. Not according to the Bromley Beekeepers association, who wrote to The Guardian to complain that Bez was encouraging people to pick up the hobby without enough thought. Though an anecdote about 100 bees getting into Bez’s pants was as much thought as I needed (to shun the idea for life).

October: Arashi fans v Arashi trees
In another tale of fans gone wild, devotees of Japanese boyband Arashi began travelling in droves to the island of Hokkaido to visit a group of trees that the band had touched in an advert. The locals were not best pleased, but it seemed impossible to stop the fans arriving, making a mess of the place and cutting pieces off the trees. Until the owner of the land they stood on came up with an ingenious (possibly not ingenious) plan.

November: Lily Allen and James Arthur
November was a busy month for popstars rubbing the public up the wrong way. First Lily Allen released a new video, that was widely praised and widely derided. No, not that bloody advert, the video for ‘Hard Out Here’, which some suggested might be a bit racist. But if there was some ambiguity in that debate, there seemed to be little in the one revolving around homophobic lyrics written by James Arthur. Unless you were James Arthur of course, in which case you’d think it reasonable to argue that calling someone a “fucking queer” wasn’t homophobic.

December: (Definitely) BBC Radio Lancashire v (Probably not) Radio Caroline
December has been a little quiet on the beef front (what with people getting into the Christmas spirit and all), but what it lacked in venom it made up for in confusion. In perhaps the year’s most perplexing BOTW, a man who had been interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire about his time as a presenter on Radio Caroline in the 60s was thoroughly cross examined by BBC Local Radio’s political correspondent Paul Rowley and accused of lying about his former job. His inability to answer even the most simple questions about Radio Caroline suggested that Rowley was right, which made for one of the year’s most unusual pieces of radio.

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